4 Reasons Why ECN can Ready your Healthcare Facility for the 2017 CMS Mandate
November 28, 2016
It’s official. Healthcare facilities’ have one year to develop and implement an emergency preparedness plan and disaster recovery in the event of an emergency situation, or risk losing your Medicare and Medicaid funding. A lot of emotions and frustration have been circling this new mandate, but it is important to understand why CMS determined the need for these changes and how ECN can support you through this change.
Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services explained, “The need for patient care doesn’t stop because streets are flooded or trees are down. In fact disasters often increase the need for health care services.” She identifies the key reason why you need a procedure to be firmly planted by your side, and the ability to communicate critical time sensitive information when a stressful emergent situation does develop.
Upon reviewing the Federal Register, four core elements have been identified that are central to “an effective and comprehensive framework of emergency preparedness requirements for the various Medicare and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers.” The four elements are as follows:
- Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning – to address “all-hazards” specific to a provider’s location which are likely to occur. These include “care-related emergencies, equipment and power failures and interruptions in communications such as cyber-attacks, loss of a facility, and loss of supplies like food and water.”
- Policies and Procedures – to support the successful execution of emergency plans and address identified risks
- Communication Plan – to address maintaining a “system to contact appropriate staff, patients, physicians and other persons in a timely manner to ensure the continuation of patient care functions throughout facilities and to ensure functions are carried out in a safe and effective manner.”
- Training and Testing – to ensure all personnel may demonstrate knowledge of emergency procedures via the use of drills and exercises which identify “gaps and areas for improvement.”
Let’s focus on each of these components with the understanding ECN is a managed services provider of critical communications. For nearly two decades we’ve worked side by side with clients in emergency situations which have impacted their businesses, as well as livelihoods. But we go far beyond just providing communication tools, as we partner with our clients to develop the right plan for them – discussing their needs, plans and concerns.
With the four elements mentioned above as the focal point, ECN maintains a comprehensive suite of solutions which can help healthcare providers meet and achieve these mandates.
- Risk Assessment & Emergency Planning – “All-hazards” specific to your location means a program tailored for your location and audience:
- The message you deliver is based upon your location and your specific audience. Does your facility require the use of multi-lingual messages to ensure staff and patients receive information easily? ECN allows you to create and send any message to your intended audience with three simple clicks. The system is able to accurately convert a message typed in English, into a preferred alternative language for the right individuals. This is not a standard capability throughout the industry.
- Policies & Procedures – The successful execution of emergency plans requires your facility to be coordinated with local emergency responders and personnel. Many times this means your facility may coordinate with police, fire and dispatch personnel to coordinate responses and provide incident guidance. It also means having the tools to communication to/from multiple healthcare facilities and across teams, groups and all of your personnel simultaneously.
- Communication Plan – The need for a system to communicate in timely manner to ensure continuation of patient care which requires an easy to use interface to expedite your communications. SmartNotice is a reliable, customizable, and above all an easy to use SaaS-based technology which is ready at the touch of a button with pre-saved scenarios and alerts to be sent via phone, text, email, RSS, social media, etc. With the addition of Two-Way Messaging, responses allow you to stay up-to-date with staff recalls, personal assignments, schedule changes and more and provide you with real-time statistics and data.
- Training and Testing – As your critical communications partner, think of us as an extension of your team, always on standby to assist you with launching a notification in a pinch, or walking you through routine notification scheduling. Our team of dedicated, in-house client support technicians is available to you without limitation 24/7/365. Your successful use of the system as often as needed, is our success.
So don’t wait until the deadline for this mandate to go into effect to investigate your options. Look for a partner now who offers you:
- Unlimited client support and training
- Easy to create and send messages
- References from healthcare clients
- Two-Way messaging capabilities
- Foreign language message translation
- Weather alerts to keep your staff apprised of local conditions
- And other enhancements and features that aren’t standard in the industry…
We understand this is a component of your business you may not have planned for prior to the new mandate being passed down. Rest assured, we are here and we are ready to assist you prepare for these mandatory changes that will occur over the next 12 months. To learn why so many healthcare agencies have partnered with ECN and SmartNotice, read more here and be sure to read our industry study on complying with CMS’ emergency preparedness rules. Or you can give us a call at 866-939-0911 to speak with one of our experienced team members.